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Analysis of Black Friday Google Ads

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Analysis of Black Friday Google Ads
Latest Updates to Google Ads for Black Friday
 
Black Friday is a big day for pay per click advertisers, particularly retailers relying on Google Ads. As online shopping has become more important, Google Ads have gained in prominence. Large retailers from Walmart to Amazon have jumped into the game and rely on Google Ads to drive Black Friday sales. 
 
Below, we look at how Google Ads have changed to accomodate Black Friday and how your business can benefit from Google’s changes.
 
 
Google Introduced Black Friday Extensions
 
Back in 2018, Search Engine Land reported on Google’s new ad unit targeted specifically at Black Friday sales. The new ad unit allows retailers and other businesses to show their deals to searchers using a variety of Black Friday-related keywords.
 
For example, if a user searches for “Black Friday deals” or “Cyber Monday deals,” you can target these searches. 
 
Promotion extensions, a technical term for extra information on your ad, will allow searchers to quickly see what your Black Friday deal is all about. For example, you could add text saying “60% off” to quickly inform people of their potential savings.
 
 
How to Use Black Friday Extensions
 
Black Friday extensions are now part of the Google Ads inventory. When setting up your ad, click on the “Extensions” option inside Google Ads. You can select either “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” then set up the rest of the ad as you would normally.
 
When searches trigger your keywords, the ads will be shown, linking to the deals you have set up for Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
 
Yet another special feature for Black Friday ads is that Google now helps in your analysis of how your ads have performed in the past. Your account will show you aggregated data for clicks and impressions over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This will make it easier for retailers to understand how their ads have performed historically and to tweak the ads if necessary.
 
 
Trends in Black Friday Google Ads
 
Understanding your own Black Friday ad performance is a good step, but it’s not enough on its own. Retailers looking to make more sales during Black Friday can benefit from understanding wider trends in Black Friday Google Ads. You can benchmark your own ads against other retailers’ Google Ads performance.
 
 
Google Ads Command Lion’s Share Of Retailers’ Spend
 
According to iSpionage, a pay per click (PPC) software firm, a variety of retailers made use of Black Friday advertising in 2018. Some of these retailers include Macy’s, JCPenney, and Target. 
 
PPC campaigns are increasingly popular for Black Friday. As Marketing Dive reports, Black Friday-related advertising commands around 25% of retailers’ total advertising budgets. Among platforms, Google Ads lead the pack, followed by Facebook and Amazon.
 
Chart: Retailers’ Allocation of Black Friday Ad Spend
 
While 64% of retailers reported plans to start ad campaigns before Halloween, their focus on early shoppers left out last-minute shoppers. According to the Marketing Dive report, only 5% of retailers had ad plans to target late-season shoppers.
 
 
Average Cost Per Click
 
An important benchmark you can use to understand industry-wide ad performance is cost per click. Cost per click (CPC) refers to how much money it costs to drive a single visitor to your online store or landing page from showing ads via an ad platform. 
 
From a study of search ads during Black Friday 2018, Kenshoo found that average CPCs were $0.50 on Black Friday, and $0.41 on Thanksgiving. 
 
You can use these figures for a general ballpark of where your ad costs should be. However, the competition and, hence, the CPC, will vary from product to product.
 
 
Analyzing Results of Black Friday Ads
 
Done well, Google Ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday can drive sales for your retail business. Other retailers’ Black Friday advertising success is reassuring in this regard. 
 
Large retailers like Amazon have found success running ad campaigns around Black Friday. Their results can be a model for your own Black Friday ad campaigns.
 
 
Which Retailers Performed Well in Black Friday Campaigns?
 
Ad scans from Black Friday show that, true to expectation, major retailers largely had some kind of advertising campaign for Black Friday 2018. A partial list of retailers spotted in the ad scans includes Costco, Gap, Amazon, IKEA, Walmart, Toy City, and Under Armour.  
 
To judge the results of all this advertising, SimilarWeb analyzed the data from the ad campaigns. SimilarWeb singled out a few retailers for driving both traffic and sales from these ad campaigns. These retailers included Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Costco, and Macy’s.
 
 
Conversion Rates
 
Another important metric for analysing the success of your Google Ad campaign on Black Friday is the conversion rate. The conversion rate measures what percentage of traffic to your store or landing pages resulted in a sale.
 
Studying conversion rate data for Black Friday can give you more insight into how good results were across retailers. For example, Barilliance, a retention-marketing company, posted some conversion rates collected from retailers in Black Friday 2018.
 
The data shows some variability in conversion rate based on country:
 
  • Great Britain - 4.33%
  • Canada - 7.05%
  • Australia - 4.37%
  • US - 2.9%
 As with cost per click, conversion rate will vary across products and store types as well. You can improve your conversion rates by using techniques such as split testing. In split testing, you run test traffic to your store. You then change elements of your page copy and product offers to find a combination that converts best.
 
 
Get Your Google Ads Ready for Black Friday
 
Some important takeaways stand out for the regular retailer looking to capitalize on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. First, there’s tremendous potential in the Google Ads extensions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can bid for relevant keywords and target shoppers looking for Black Friday deals. As the experience of major retailers like Amazon shows, you can drive significant traffic to your store that will be interested in your deals.
 
Second, and more important, conversion rates around Black Friday and Cyber Monday are promising. Major retailers are able to use Google Ads as a traffic source for making real sales around these important shopping holidays.
 
A final practical tip is to pay attention to both your cost per click and conversion rates. Ideally, you want your cost per click as low as possible but your conversion rates to be through the roof!
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